Monday, January 5, 2009

Sophisticated Reading

During our little Solstice party last month, the parents started discussing the books they were reading to their kids.  I was a little surprised to hear all the chapter book titles floating around since we basically stuck to picture books and comic books with Magoo.  But we had been reading a thicker, wordier version of The Nutcracker for the holidays and he seemed to be doing well with that - so I got a purchased of the titles mentioned.

We started Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nim, but after a little while, Magoo seemed to lose interest.  Then we tried My Father's Dragon, which seemed to be a better fit.  It's less wordy and there are some illustrations in the book.  We just ordered The Phantom Tollbooth, but that's a biggie too, so we might wait a bit on that one.

Still, I noticed that Magoo was scanning through the words and pointing out and reading the ones he knew.  "To" was a popular one.  

Mrs. Flammia, his Kindergarten teacher, always sends home a list of words that the children can read, like "on", "the", "to" etc.  So I though it might be nice to make Magoo a little book with some of the words he knows and that might inspire him to read more.

I'd been meaning to do it for at least a month, but yesterday - finally - I found the time and motivation.  I sat down by Magoo, who was playing with his Lego's, and asked, "I'm going to write a book for you.  Should it be about a pirate or a dragon?  What would you like?"
"Chess," he said.  Chess?  I didn't really think "Bishop takes the Rook", would be good kid-lit so I tried again.  "How about an animal, honey."  "Let's make a book about Homer Simpson!" he said.  He was very excited about that idea.  Moreso than I.  I was hoping to draw fun dragons, not have to copy images of Homer.  But, it was a book for him after all.  So I agreed.

Now that I was getting on with it, Magoo wanted to make suggestions.  So the book I planned to write for him, became a book we wrote together.  Which was great.  I just don't know that I worked in as many site words as I originally planned.  Anyway, please allow me to present: 

Homer walks down the street.
Homer sees a chess set.
The statue makes his move.
"You lose, statue!  In your face!" Homer says.
The statue gives Homer a prize.
It is a golden doughnut.
Homer is happy.
The End.

Homer playing chess with a statue is all Magoo.  He also came up with the idea of the trophy giving him a prize, although I suggested the golden doughnut.  You can see the last page of the book in the top photo with Magoo.  

I drew the illustrations then scanned them into the computer and colored them and added text.  It's just a little eight pager.  We'll go through it until he can read the words, then I plan to make him another one.  If I'm lucky - the next one might be about a Pokemon!


äiti said...

OMG I love this!

Chicklebee said...

"In your face"!?!?! You put "In your face" in Magoo's book!?!?!?!

Julie_c said...

Homer says "In your face" all the time. I was simply being true to the character's voice.

Jessica said...

Ha,I love it! You and Magoo make a great team. Maybe he could help you out with your next book!

I can totally hear Homer saying that!!

Shelley said...

This is brilliant. I love that you wanted to make a book with words he can read. And the outcome, well... awesome.